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Audio Illusions

YouTube Link

The latest video offering from ASAP Science asks viewers "Can you trust your ears?" The video provides examples of illusions such as the McGurk effect, which occurs when visual cues alter and "trick" the brain's processing of auditory input, leading to misconceptions about what was heard. The Tritone Paradox and the Shepard Tone Illusions are other auditory phenomena discussed. Watch the video and test your ears to see how trustworthy they are.  


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What Language Does Your State Speak?

The most common language in every U.S. state is English, and the second-most common language in all but seven states is Spanish. But what comes next? The results tell us something about each state’s history of immigration. Ben Blatt put together quite a few maps exploring the languages spoken in the different states.

One of the most interesting data sets for aspiring mapmakers is the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Among other things, that survey includes a detailed look at the languages spoken in American homes. All the maps below are based on the responses to this survey. For instance, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Chinese are separated as different responses in the data, so were treated as different languages when constructing these maps. If those languages had been grouped together, the marking of many states would change.

Besides the most common languages, the maps are broken down into the most common Native American languages, most common Scandinavian languages, and more.  


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Baby Elephant Rescued from River

(YouTube link)

The Ewaso Nyiro River was running high after heavy rain, as an elephant herd crossed it in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The force of the water was just too much for a baby elephant and it began to wash downstream. A juvenile caught it, and held the baby in place until its mother came, and the two bigger elephants helped the baby to the bank. Sandy Gelderman caught the sequence on video.

Notice the elephants’ habit is to stand on the upstream side of the youngsters in order to break the force of the river’s flow. It doesn’t always work, but with teamwork, they all got across. -via 22 Words

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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12 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Field Of Dreams

Twenty-five years ago today, the movie Field of Dreams opened in theaters across the country. When we later heard the movie line “There’s no crying in baseball,” we knew that there was, because Field of Dreams made so many fathers and sons tear up at least a little inside. For the anniversary, FilmDrunk gives us 12 Things You Probably Don’t Know About ‘Field Of Dreams’ On Its 25th Anniversary. For example, do you think there would be no crying in baseball if Tom Hanks played the lead?

1. Kevin Costner wasn’t the studio’s initial choice for Ray Kinsella. Tom Hanks was offered the role, but decided to pass. Producers didn’t initially approach Kevin Costner about the film because they thought he wouldn’t be interested in another baseball movie, having just finished Bull Durham.

6. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were extras in the movie. When Ben Affleck started working on The Sum of All Fears he said to director Phil Alden Robinson, “nice working with you again.” When Robinson asked Affleck what he meant by the compliment, Affleck explained that he and Matt Damon were among the thousands of extras in Field of Dreams’ Fenway Park scene.

You’ll find out even more about the movie in an article from W.P. Kinsella, the author who wrote the original novel Shoeless Joe. He tells about the tale went from a short story to a novel to a movie, how it affected him, and why J.D. Salinger wasn’t in the movie.

As a bonus, here’s what’s happening these days at the Field of Dreams. -via Metafilter


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Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt #26

It's been a great while since our last Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt, so it's with great pleasure that we announce that it's time we run another one!

For those of you who haven't played before, the Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt is an online scavenger hunt with neat prizes. You can win a Tokyoflash watch of your choice as well as neat T-shirts from the NeatoShop.

Here's how to play. Solve the clues, for example:

1. What's the name of Neatorama's kid and baby blog?

2. What is 2+1?

3. What is the name of the top grill in our Top 10 Coolest BBQ Grills post?

Put the answers together to form this link: http://www.neatorama.com/neatobambino-3-lynx

Go ahead and copy and paste that URL to your browser to get to the answer page. Easy, right? I think you're ready for the real contest, then!

Here are the clues to the Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt #26:

1. Visit Tokyoflash.com and look for the new watch featured above. Fill in the blank: "Made from durable ______ with a clean matte finish"

2. Visit the NeatoShop's Funny T-shirt category. Find the shirt you'd wear when you want bust some ghosts (there are a few of them, but any of them will do.) Fill in the blank: "Who are you ____ to call?"

3. Visit our pal Dumpaday's very funny post: attack of the funny animals. Fill in the blank: "Mah sleep number is _____"

4. Back to Tokyoflash. Find one of their watches that can stop you from driving drunk. Fill in the blank: "When _____, a line on the screen moves from left to right."

Visit Tokyoflash, the NeatoShop and Dumpaday to find answers to these clues. Then string them together to form the URL: http://www.neatorama.com/answer1-answer2-answer3-answer4 (all one-word, lower case, separated by dash).

This contest will end soon, so hurry! Have fun, guys!


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An 8-Year-Old Boy's Incredible Act of Kindness Begins with a Note that Reads "Dear Soldier - My Dad Was a Soldier. He's in Heaven Now"

It's your lucky day: you've just found a $20 bill. What would you spend it on? Would you get yourself a hot lunch? Maybe a video game?

Eight-year-old Myles Eckert was so excited when he found a $20 bill in the parking lot of his neighborhood Cracker Barrel restaurant. "I kind of wanted to get a video game," the young boy told CBS news, "but I decided not to."

Myles changed his mind when he saw Lt. Col. Frank Dailey in uniform, having an early lunch at the same restaurant. The soldier reminded Myles of his late father.

"Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad," Myles explained why he wrapped the $20 he found with a green note that said:

Dear Soldier -- my dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It's your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.

After lunch, Myles asked his mom to make one more stop. "He wanted to see his dad," the boy's mom Tiffany said, "And he wanted to go by himself that day."

Steve Hartman of CBS Evening News has the story:


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Bad British NFL Commentary

(YouTube link)

They've done baseball and basketball, and now the Exploding Heads are giving the bad British commentary treatment to American football. They call it the NFL, but for some reason, Alabama is going to the Super Bowl. Figure that one out! And when it's all over ands their hard hats come off, they have a crystal to use in the next game. -Thanks, Anthony Richardson!


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Downhill Through the Woods

(YouTube link)

There's a reason they say to stay on the trail when skiing downhill. French pro skier Candide Thovex and Aziz Benkrich bring us GoPro footage as they shuss through the woods and miss the trees. Mostly. Remember, these are professionals -do not try this at home. Watching this video may cause disorientation and vertigo. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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The Road Home

(YouTube link)

We have a new tale from StoryCorps, animated by the Rauch Brothers. Eddie Lanier struggled with alcoholism for most of his life, but when he decided to turn that life around, David Wright stepped in to do what he could. Lanier tells his story with Wright by his side. Lanier's story is included in StoryCorps' first animated TV special called "Listening is an Act of Love." -Thanks, Krisi!


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Young Man with Down Syndrome Accepted into College, Reacts Joyfully


(Video Link)

Leaving home to go to college can be a great opportunity to develop a measure of independence. College life can be a maturing and liberating experience. But people with intellectual disabilities don’t often get to enjoy that opportunity. ClemsonLIFE at Clemson University in South Carolina is a program that attempts to extend that opportunity to them. It provides a college life experience that is customized to the individual needs of each participant.

Rion Holcome, 20, of Roebuck, South Carolina applied to the program. Clemson mailed him an acceptance letter. His parents recorded his response as he opened it.

-via 22 Words


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The Pug Puppy Version of Elf

(Video Link)

We recently showed you what happens when a few adorable pug puppies take on the starring roles in Home Alone, but for all the youngsters out there (and Macaulay Culkin haters), this movie parody is a lot more relatable. 

Plus, in this pug-filled take on Elf, we get to see the baby pug playing the adopted father of Buddy the elf, which is pretty much the cutest thing in the whole world -even if that scene is actually relatively short. And, Zooey Deschanel haters will be relieved to see her replacement is far, far cuter -and I'm sure even many of her fans will agree.

Via Thought Catalog

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Chicken Ad Parody

(YouTube link)

Mercedes-Benz used a chicken to demonstrate their Intelligent Drive stability control feature in a TV ad a few months ago. Now another high-end car brand responds to that ad with a parody that highlights their own reputation. Who needs stability when you're an apex predator? -via Viral Viral Videos


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He was Only Three Days from Retirement!

Cleanup in aisle three! A spilled bottle of ketchup is a grand opportunity for drama. A couple of Trader Joe's employee took advantage of the situation just to give you a laugh! My theory is that it was Colonel Mustard in the condiment aisle with a ketchup bottle, used just to throw us off. You got any better ideas?

The reddit thread that accompanied this picture is full of Trader Joe's employees talking about how great it is to work there, and customers who tell how great it is to shop there. There are no Trader Joe's where I live -are they really that nice?

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Pentatonix: Angels We Have Heard On High

(YouTube link)

The a cappella group Pentatonix sing like angels together in the song "Angels We have Heard On High." The group will be performing two shows in Mobile, Alabama, this weekend with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, which may be the last opportunity to hear them sing Christmas songs live -at least this year. You can sample their Christmas album at iTunes. -via Viral Viral Videos


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The Simpsons Christmas Couch Gag

(YouTube link)

This new holiday-themed couch gag puts The Simpsons at the North Pole, getting ready for Santa's Christmas toy delivery. Watch for the Festivus Pole and Edna Krabappel as an angel. The sequence will be shown this weekend in the new episode "White Christmas Blues." -via Tastefully Offensive


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Wedding Is Interrupted by Batman, Iron Man and So Many Other Characters

The minister said, "Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace."

That part of the liturgy can be a tense moment in any wedding. For Adam Bohn, the founder of a video game company, and his bride Michelle, it was beginning of a grand spectacle.

Yes, Iron Man and Batman came in to try to woo Michelle away from Adam. But that was only part of an elaborately planned and magnificently staged performance.


(Video Link)

-via Kotaku


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Mean Elves - The Hobbit Meets Mean Girls

(Video Link)

It’s the mashup nobody saw coming, nobody asked for, and yet somehow feels right at home with the rest of the Lord of the Rings based silliness available for your viewing pleasure on the interwebs.

It’s called Mean Elves- a ridiculous animated Hobbit-Mean Girls mashup by Leigh Lahav that gives fans some insight into the minds of the cool kids of the forests- the elves. As we’ve always suspected the elves are elitists, catty and totally superficial trash talkers, in a sexy-and-they-know-it kind of way.  It will make you appreciate the gruff nature of the dwarves and feel for the poor nerdy little hobbits.

Via Gamma Squad


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Chance's First Swim

(YouTube link)

Chance the dog has never been swimming, so he's not sure about it. Once he finally gets going, he doesn't want to stop! That's a good dog. -via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Meet the Somalis

The immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from Somalia are the ones who reject the war, corruption, and poverty of their homeland, even when it means leaving behind everything and everyone they ever knew to begin again in Europe. Meet the Somalis by author Benjamin Dix and artist Lindsay Pollock is a graphic telling of the stories of 14 real Somalis in seven different European cities.  

The story of Shamso in Leicester is hopeful -and funny.

The story of Zein in London almost made me cry.

And the story of Baashi in Amsterdam did make me cry.

Musta in Leicester is homesick, and worried.

The story of Jamilah in Helsinki is one of rejection and reconciliation.

Read all 14 stories at Open Society Foundations. Advance each comic panel by clicking on it. -via Metafilter


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Pope Francis Embraces Very Deformed Man

(Photo: Claudio Peri/Nacion)

(Photo: Claudio Peri/ANSA)

A week ago, we posted about Pope Francis's kindly response to a little boy interrupting his work. Anne Packrat Matthews commented, "I seriously love this pope." Jay Melo agreed and said, "Me too and I'm not even Catholic."

Nor am I, but I am likewise impressed with the way Pope Francis is handling his job. He drives an old car, playfully spins a boy who sits in his seat in the Popemobile and sacks a bishop who's living ostentatiously

On Wednesday, a man whose body has been disfigured by neurofibromatosis approached him. A lesser man might recoil in revulsion. But Pope Francis embraced him, kissed him and prayed with him.

-via 22 Words


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Ada Lovelace Day

Today, October 15th, is Ada Lovelace Day. Since 2009, it is a day set aside to learn about the many women in STEM disciplines who don't get the credit they deserve for their pioneering work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The day is named for Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who was a brilliant mathematician and wrote the world's first computer program. In 1842.

Neatorama has published quite a few articles over the years about women in science and technology. In honor of the occasion, feel free to catch up on them.

The Amazing Dr. Florence Baker dedicated her life to the health of poor people.

Josephine Cochrane developed the modern dishwasher.

A Short History of Women Inventors and Scientists.

An Ode to Great Double X-Chromosomed Scientists.

Women in Space: The Mercury 13.

Florence Nightingale’s Statistical Diagrams.

The Finkbeiner Test

The Ada Lovelace Day site has a map on which you can find further articles posted specifically for Ada Lovelace Day.


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Boats

(YouTube link)

First there was Cars, then Cars II, and then Planes, which Disney did without Pixar Studios, although the influence is obvious. What's to stop them from taking this concept to the next level? After all, there's a new crop of children to watch them every few years, and they all want to buy the toys associated with the latest film. Next, we will have cute anthropomorphic motorcycles, skateboards, and aircraft carriers with the same basic plot, with a crop of new toys and opportunities for product placement! Contains some NSFW language. This video also illustrates  the common suspicion that yes men, bean counters, consultants, and board members never had a childhood. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Skull in the Family

J.W. Ocker has two full-size skeletons that are supposed to be Halloween decorations. Two, since one skeleton can be lonely at times. Ocker couldn't limit his time with the skeletons to just Halloween, because when you have two full-size skeletons, there is so much more fun to be had! Ocker made them part of the family, as you'll see in a series of photographs at his site, OTIS Odd Things I've Seen. See the "family" in the car, watching TV, and hanging Halloween decorations together. Be sure to check out the link to the prank he played on his wife, too! -via Laughing Squid

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Three-Year-Old Dancer

(YouTube link)

Dancer Tianne King and her 3-year-old daughter Heaven danced for Ellen Degeneres. Little Heaven is tres adorable.

Ellen: Do you think you wanna be a dancer when you grow up?

Heaven: I AM a dancer!

Darn right, she is! And she's going to be a butterfly for Halloween trick-or-treat. -via Viral Viral Videos

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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R.I.P. Butler Blue II

The news was released yesterday that Butler Blue II, the bulldog mascot for the Butler University Bulldogs, passed away Saturday after an extended Illness. He was nine years old. The whole story comes out in a eulogy from Michael Kaltenmark, who cared for Blue. Butler Blue II is also mourned by Butler Blue III, nicknamed Trip, who took over as university mascot when the older dog retired in 2012. Uproxx has the dog's final Tweets. Link

The university released a video retrospective of Butler Blue II's life and work. Continue reading to see it, but bring a hanky.

Continue reading
Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Meet Lizzie Mae

(YouTube link)

Azie Mira Dungey worked as a living history character at Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate in Virginia. She regularly answered questions about life as a slave, but some of the questions were, shall we say, somewhat clueless. Real questions are recreated in this video, and Dungey does her best to stay in character while answering. Apparently these questions are just the tip of the iceberg, as this is the first episode of her web series directed by Jordan Black called Ask a Slave. Episode two is already up. Link  -via Viral Viral Videos


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That's One Way to Announce a Pregnancy

If your dog is your little baby, what better way to announce to the world that you are having a new human baby than sending out this adorable little card? Photographers Chris & Adrienne Scott used this photo as their public pregancy announcement.

Link

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Brain Divided

(YouTube link)

A guy meets a blind date in a restaurant and his brain goes into overdrive, with an epic struggle between the logical and inhibited left side and the emotional, impulsive right side. This animated short from Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song of Ringling College of Art and Design is part of Cartoon Brew's 4th annual Student Animation Festival. Link -via Viral Viral Videos


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Serial Taxi Shows What Happens When You Don't Have All the Information

(Video Link)

Animator Paolo Cogliati recently sent us a message on the Neatorama Facebook page, hoping to share his newest solo project with all of you readers. When you watch this adorable, funny and slightly dark cartoon, you'll be glad he got in touch.

By the way, if you're not following us on Facebook, you're missing out on all kinds of fun

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Nada's Story

(YouTube link)

Eleven-year-old Nada Al-Ahdal lives in Yemen. Nada was raised by an uncle, and didn't even see her parents for  years until she was of an age that men were willing to pay for her hand in marriage. She ran away from her parents' home when she found out she was contracted to be married. Rather than face kidnapping charges, the uncle went to the Ministry of the Interior’s family protection department. After an investigation, the parents relinquished Nada to her uncle's care. In this video, Nada vents her feelings about what she went through, and asks for the world to consider other girls in the same situation. Link  -via The Daily Dot


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